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THE AUTHORITARIAN HANDBOOK: REFLECTIONS ON INDIAN POLITICS SINCE 2014

Title
THE AUTHORITARIAN HANDBOOK: REFLECTIONS ON INDIAN POLITICS SINCE 2014
Speaker(s)
Speaker: Adjitya Sarkar # University of Warwick
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
19th Jan 2018 17:00 - 19th Jan 2018 19:00
Location
G16, William Robertson Wing (Doorway 4, Teviot Place)
URL
http://www.csas.ed.ac.uk/events/seminar_series/2017_2018/the_authoritarian_handbook_reflections_on_indian_politics_since_2014

This is a co-badged event between Centre for Modern and Contemporary History and the Centre for South Asian Studies (discussant Wilfried Swenden)

Abstract

In 2014, the far-right, Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an emphatic victory in India's general elections. Since then, the country has been ruled by Narendra Modi, who has faced 15-year long accusations of instigating sectarian violence, yet has experienced a surge in popularity since running successfully for the Prime Minister's office. 

Responses to Modi's victory have usually been explicitly political, but this paper considers his success through a more historical lens. Aditya will take stock of a series of political processes which are currently in motion in India, and make certain tentative generalizations about their overall direction. 

First, he will consider the advance of 'Hindutva' - a century-old ideology committed to the establishment of Hindu supremacism as the basis of Indian life - over the short span of Modi's rule so far. Second, he will explore some policy priorities of the BJP government which exceed (while not in any sense abandoning) the project of Hindu nationalism, such as 'demonetization' in late 2016. Finally, he will examine possible ways of analysing this 'authoritarian turn'. Rather than explain Modi's ascendancy as the 'death' or 'decline' of democracy, he will suggest that this right-wing surge needs to be understood within the longer history of 'actually existing democracy' in India - and, perhaps, the rest of the world as well.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/232880797252922/ 

Damaged fishing boat, Telwatte, July 2005